Posted by: Bert Copple | April 29, 2014

What’s Growing for Seniors Right Now

Asparagus crosshatchNo doubt about it, it’s been a long winter. And if you’re anything like us, you’re ready to hit the Farmer’s Market and start thinking about all the amazing meals you can begin preparing with spring’s early crops.

For many seniors who have been housebound all winter, it’s a great time to amp up the nutritional value of their meals without spending a lot of extra time and money.

At Home Instead Senior Care serving the Detroit metro, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, and Southeast Oakland County, we have some special foods that we love to share with seniors in early spring:

Leafy Greens: Greens such as spinach, kale, collards and others are packed with heart-healthy anti-oxidants and easy to incorporate into any meal. Serve them raw as the base of a salad topped with grilled chicken or salmon, other veggies, fruits and nuts; or steam them in a soup. Cooked or raw, they make a great alternative to rice or pasta as the base of a meal when piled high with proteins and other veggies. Just one word of warning, though: seniors taking Coumadin and other anti-coagulants should consult their doctors before eating dark green vegetables of any kind.

Beets: Not everyone loves beets, but those who do know that they are great for their anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory powers. They’re chock-full of folate, manganese, potassium, copper and other vitamins and minerals that support healthy aging. Many seniors of European and Eastern European descent will feel nostalgic when served beets that have been pickled. For a more modern take, grill or roast them with other seasonal vegetables.

Asparagus: Asparagus is a fabulous source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, which enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It’s also full of antioxidant compounds that may help fight against certain forms of cancer like breast, lung, colon and bone cancers. Some say it can even help slow the aging process. Most people are all too happy to eat it steamed with a squeeze of fresh lemon, but you can also switch it up by roasting it, pureeing with chicken or vegetable broth to make a soup, or incorporating it into a bruschetta topping.

Spring Peas: Peas tend to be the unsung workhorse of vegetables. Tolerated by most, passionately loved by few. But their strong anti-inflammatory properties, cancer-preventing polyphenols and high protein and fiber levels make them the little green health pellets that should be a constant in your senior’s diet.  Plus, they are fun to eat. Try them mashed or pureed with mint or basil, a splash of olive oil and a shaving of parmesan, or toss into a pasta dish for a pop of nutrition.

For more information about senior health, please contact Home Instead Senior Care serving the Detroit metro, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, and Southeast Oakland County at 248-203-2273, visit our website, or Like us on Facebook.

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